FACTOID # 30: If Alaska were its own country, it would be the 26th largest in total area, slightly larger than Iran.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Völuspá

Voluspa or Völuspá means The Prophecy of the Seeress and tells the story of the creation and coming destruction of the world related by a völva or seeress in what could be described as a shamanic trance to Odin. It is considered a primary source for the study of Norse mythology. It is the first song in the collection known as the Elder Edda. In Norse mythology, Ragnarok (fate of the gods1) is the battle at the end of the world. ... Seid (also seiðr, seidhr) was the form of shamanism practised by pre-Christian Norse and other Germanic cultures and continued in modern times by people who practice the reconstructionist beliefs of Ásatrú or heathenry. ... Odin, Icelandic/Old Norse Óðinn, Swedish Oden, Anglo-Saxon and Old Saxon Woden, Old Franconian Wodan, Alemannic Wuodan, German Wotan or Wothan Lombardic Godan. ... Norse mythology, Viking mythology or Scandinavian mythology refer to the pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian people, including those who settled on Iceland, where the written sources for Norse mythology were assembled. ... The Poetic Edda or Elder Edda is a term applied to two things. ...


The prophecy commences with an address to Odin (or Óðinn), (who summoned her by use of seid), in which the seeress Heidi explains how she came by her knowledge. She explains further that she understands the source of Odin's omniscience, and other secrets of the gods of Asgard. Seid (also seiðr, seidhr) was the form of shamanism practised by pre-Christian Norse and other Germanic cultures and continued in modern times by people who practice the reconstructionist beliefs of Ásatrú or heathenry. ... This article is about the realm of Norse Mythology. ...


She then continues to relate the story of the creation of the world in an abridged form. She then deals with the then present and future happenings, the substance of many of the Norse myths, such as the death of Baldur, and ultimately, Ragnarok, the end of the world, and its second coming, as a continuous narrative. Norse mythology, Viking mythology or Scandinavian mythology refer to the pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian people, including those who settled on Iceland, where the written sources for Norse mythology were assembled. ... In Norse Mythology, Baldur (also Balder, ON Baldr), the god of innocence, beauty, joy, purity, and peace, is Odins second son. ... In Norse mythology, Ragnarok (fate of the gods1) is the battle at the end of the world. ...


Analysis

The Völuspá is the most famous and the most furiously debated of the Eddic poems, it is found in the Codex Regius (composed between the 9th to 13th centuries) and in Hauk Erlendsson's Hauksbok Codex (circa 1334), and many of its stanzas are included in Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda (circa 1220). The order of the stanzas varies in these sources, and widely so between the Hauksbok and the Codex Regius. Many of the published translations (cf. Auden) have further rearranged the material. However, many find the Codex Regius version clearer than these rearranged versions. The Codex Regius is an Icelandic manuscript (See also Codex) which is thought to have been written in the 1270s, but many of the poems and stories contained in it pre-date the conversion of Scandinavia to Christianity in the late tenth century. ...


The poem is at once as rhythmically beautiful as it is visually severe, a contrast befitting the world it's set in, and reveals a poet of great genius. The gods may be doomed by their past actions, but all is not lost - the struggle can produce a better world.


Óðinn, ever seeking fore-knowledge and constantly pursuing wisdom, compels the Völva (seer) to return to the living and tell what she knows of the world. Odin, Icelandic/Old Norse Óðinn, Swedish Oden, Anglo-Saxon and Old Saxon Woden, Old Franconian Wodan, Alemannic Wuodan, German Wotan or Wothan Lombardic Godan. ... Seid (also seiðr, seidhr) was the form of shamanism practised by pre-Christian Norse and other Germanic cultures and continued in modern times by people who practice the reconstructionist beliefs of Ásatrú or heathenry. ... The völva, vala, wala ( Old High German), seiðkona, or wicce was a female shaman in Norse mythology, and among the Germanic peoples. ...


The past is revealed, the beginnings of existence. How the world was created, the years numbered, the origins of the dwarfs are revealed and creation of the first man and woman are recounted. Yggdrasil, the world-tree, is described. The seer recalls the events that led to the first ever war, and what occurred in the struggle between the Aesir and Vanir. Ask and Embla were the first two humans created by the gods of the Norse Mythology (analogy with Adam and Eve). ... Yggdrasil In Norse Mythology, Yggdrasil (also Mimameid and Lerad) was the World tree, a gigantic tree, thought to connect all the nine worlds of Norse cosmology. ... In Norse mythology, Gullveig (seemingly gold drink or gold might) is a mysterious goddess or giantess who is said have been burned three times in Odins hall, to have been three times born, and to live yet as a seeress performing dark magic. ... The Aesir (Old Norse Æsir, singular Áss, feminine Ásynja, feminine plural Ásynjur) are the principal pantheon of gods in Norse mythology. ... Vanir is the name of what is usually considered one of the two pantheons of gods in Norse mythology. ...


Heith (or Heidi), the seer, then reveals to Odin that she knows some of his own secrets, of what he sacrificed of himself in pursuit of knowledge. She tells him she knows where his eye is hidden and how he gave it up in exchange for inner sight; and tells of how he willingly hung, by his own spear wounded, for nine days and nights from the branches of Yggdrasil until he saw the secret of the rune stones. With pain and loss was ever his knowledge gained. She asks him constantly if he would like to hear more. Mimir was a primal god of Norse mythology whose head was severed during the war between the Aesir and the Vanir deities. ...


Then she warns that the shadows will come. The slaying of Baldr (or Baldur), best and fairest of the gods. The enmity of Loki, and of others. The final destruction of the gods where fire and flood overwhelm heaven and earth as the gods fight their final battles with their enemies. All this is forecast, this the "fate of the gods," the ragna rök. She describes the summons to battle, the personal struggles of the gods. She tells of the tragic endings of many of the gods - and how Odin, himself, is slain. It seems that all is wasted and endless night will reign. Loki tricks Hod into shooting Baldur Loki Laufeyjarson, in Norse mythology is the god of mischief, a son of Farbauti and Laufey, and is described as the contriver of all fraud. Loki is in a sense both a god and a Jotun (compare: Greek Titans and Gigantes), since he mixed...


However, finally a gleam of hope is revealed; a sliver of golden day-light pierces the gloom. A beautiful reborn world will rise from the ashes of death and destruction; Baldur will live again, but this time in the place where he always should have been, in this new world where the earth sprouts abundance without sowing seed. In Norse Mythology, Baldur (also Balder, ON Baldr), the god of innocence, beauty, joy, purity, and peace, is Odins second son. ...


While the old gods will be no more, and perhaps even memory of them pass forever, yet that they existed at all was in the end good: for it was their deeds that enabled this new world to grow unopposed into paradise, and finally their best qualities live on in the body of Baldr, in the peace of the land.


External links

  • Völuspa translation (http://www.northvegr.org/lore/poetic/001_01.php#1).
  • Jörmungrund: Völuspá (http://www.hi.is/~eybjorn/ugm/vsp3.html) (Old Norse text from Konungsbók and Hauksbók with variants.)


Norse mythology
The Nine Worlds of Norse Mythology
People, places and things: Deities | Giants | Dwarves | Valkyries
Orthography | Numbers | Runes | Kenning
Poetic Edda | Younger Edda | Skald | Sagas | Later influence

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m